When it comes to alcohol shrouded in mystery, it’s pretty tough to top absinthe. This wormwood and anise-flavored herbal spirit was illegal in the US from 1912 until 2007, when it was legalized with regulated levels of thujone — the naturally occurring, low-level stimulant that made the spirit so notorious in the first place.
For the record, absinthe has never has been poisonous in any way. The famous “green fairy” hallucinations are due to people being really, really drunk. Like “cut your ear off”-levels of drunkenness.
Regardless of the half-truths, stigmas, and overall air of secrecy surrounding absinthe, spring 2021 feels like a great time to give it a try. To pick a few favorite bottles, we asked a handful of bartenders to tell us the expressions they like to sip and mix with. Check their picks out below.